Pain and suffering are inseparable parts of human life and we must let go trying to resist them:Buddha
If someone asks us two questions. What do you want in your life? And what do you not want in your life? Everyone’s common answers would be that we want to be “happy” in our lives (the idea of achieving happiness can be different for everyone) and we do not want to “suffer” in our lives. We all have such a mutually shared belief of alleviation of suffering, yet the strongest relationship which all of us share with each other is that we all inevitably suffer in our lives.
Now the question arises “Why do we suffer?” 2500 years ago Buddha explained it in philosophical manner, today we will try to understand it from biological aspects.
We suffer because of one basic reason and that is, that Suffering is beneficial. YES, you heard me right. Suffering is not only inevitable but also beneficial for all of us. Suffering is nature’s preferred agent to trigger a change in the needed direction. A level of dissatisfaction and discontentment always stay with us for most of our lives because it is only a slightly dissatisfied and discontent creature who will look for the ways to grow and evolve. If our ancestors would have been all happy, clappy and extremely content people, then our species would have not been able to achieve whatever we have achieved today both materialistically and spiritually. We all are biologically wired to become dissatisfied with no matter what we have and feel satisfied by the feeling of having what we currently don’t have. Therefore pain, suffering, and negative experiences are not flaws of being human rather they are features.
The “pain” which we feel can be categorized into two categories: Physical pain and Mental (Emotional ) pain.
The painful burning sensation which we feel when we touch a hot stove or the electric shock of touching a naked wire are few forms of physical pain which most of us must have felt at some time of our lives. What do these sort of physical pains want us to know? They exist to make us aware about the physical limitations of our human body. Whenever any physical limitation will be exceeded, some sort of physical pain will be triggered to teach us a lesson about what we can and can not do with this human body.
Do you remember the painful feelings of your first heartbreak? Or the feeling of immense heaviness on your heart when you ignored phone calls from a loved one. The guilt of not giving as much time as you must to your old parents. Self-loathing for eating that extra scoop of ice cream. Hating your self for not going to Gym even after purchasing a membership. I can go on and on… Why do these painful emotions exist? Nothing exists without any reason, right? Just like our physical pain, our psychological/ emotional pain is the indication that some limit has been exceeded. The emotional pain of a heartbreak teaches us to avoid making the mistakes that we made in our past relationship so that we do not ruin any relationship in the future. The hurting feeling of self-loathing teaches us not to eat out of proportion. The uneasy feeling of guilt for ignoring our loved ones teaches us not to do that in the future.
We must get rid of the idea of a pain-free world because pain is inevitable, inherent and beneficial part of human existence. Instead of wasting our time and energy in trying to get rid of our pain, we must start to love and cherish our pain.. WHY? We will discuss in next article…
Thinker | Meditator | Life Enthusiast